US And Australia Share Visa And Immigration Information
By Athena Yenko | August 29, 2014 4:50 PM EST
The government of the United States of America and tAustralia entered an agreement to share visa and immigration information.
Through the agreement, signed on Thursday at the Parliament House, Australia and the US will be able to share two-way information.
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about job numbers and the economy during a visit to 1776, a tech startup hub, in Washington July 3, 2014. U.S. employment growth jumped in June and the jobless rate closed in on a six-year low, decisive evidence the economy was moving forward at a brisk clip after a surprisingly big slump at the start of the year.
A statement from the minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, underlined that the concurrence between the two nations happened at a time when the country has a strong need to safeguard its border using technological advancement.
"Australia values highly the information exchanges with the United States and our international partners and recognises the potential of this agreement to better protect citizens of both countries," Bishop said.
In signing the agreement, the minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison, assured that all provisions and arrangement made between the two nations are in accordance with privacy laws.
"Increased information sharing empowers border officers through more informed decision-making, whether supporting a client's claimed identity or providing conflicting identity information. As both countries work to protect our residents from emerging global threats, greater cooperation through the exchange of information will strengthen our ability to tackle cross-border issues," Morrison said in a statement.
A separate statement from the U.S. State Office said that once all provisions governing the agreement are finalised, the US and Australia will better protect their respective citizens and will be able to enhance facilitation of legitimate travel and business.
As detailed in the statement, the agreement will support better decision-making by both countries to confirm applicants' identities, and identify risks and inadmissible persons at the earliest opportunity.
The US and Australia will be one in identifying terrorists, violent criminals and other people who pose threat against each others' borders.
Once visa- and immigration-sharing agreement commences, officers tasked at handling immigration and refugee protection will be equipped with more assets and knowledge to make pertinent decisions.
"Any information shared on travelers and asylum seekers will be handled responsibly and, as with other information sharing agreements, exchanged in accordance with relevant U.S. and Australian laws," the US statement reads.
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